‘Through the Dark, Persephone Speaks’, Jennifer Bushroe

Illustration © 2019 Miguel Santos

 [ Persephone, © 2019 Miguel Santos ] You do not know
the bravery it takes
to do nothing, the courage
I employ to sit
on this cold, obsidian throne
and watch pale shades
when above me—without
me—lie bloom-snuffed fields.

You artless students,
you highbrow scholars,
you call me passive
and meek. But it takes mettle
to keep from trying
my odds with Cerberus, and
swimming Styx, climbing
countless stairs toward the light.

A life shouldn’t revolve
around a handful of seeds,
a father shouldn’t choose
for his child, a mother
shouldn’t be barred from visiting,
rape shouldn’t be dismissed
as abduction; I shouldn’t know
what it takes to do nothing.

© 2019 Jennifer Bushroe

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